Woolworths SA : Something in the Yoghurt Mix: Abstract
In May 2008, alerted by a primary dairy supplier that one of its raw material suppliers may be including gelatine in its products, Julian Novak, divisional director of food at Woolworths SA, tasked his team to investigate the issue. The allegations proved to be true. There was gelatine in Woolworths’ entire yoghurt range. In 2003, the company had agreed to ensure that its yoghurts were free of gelatine (a product derived from meat sources), and had therefore advertised them as such. One of the foundations of the Woolworths brand was its reputation for being trustworthy. Novak knew that there would be an outcry if this crisis was not handled correctly. He wondered how to act to preserve the company’s reputation, and what action the company should take against the supplier.
This case intends to enable learning about the principles for successful crisis management with a view to maintaining organisational reputation.